Friday, 3 December 2021

The Storyteller of Koss has been accepted for publication in Summer of Sci-fi & Fantasy anthology


Just had another fantasy story - it's not quite swords & sorcery as there are no swords involved - accepted for publication next year. The Storyteller of Koss will appear in Summer of Sci-fi & Fantasy anthology, due on June 1st, 2022 from Cloaked Press in the United States.
The Storyteller of Koss is a sort of sequel to Baal the Necromancer which appeared in the last issue of Mythic magazine.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

The God in the Keep is available in the November issue of Swords and Sorcery Magazine

My second swords and sorcery story to be published in the last few months, The God in the Keep, is now available to read online for free in Swords and Sorcery Magazine

My earlier story is Baal the Necromancer which appeared in the latest issue of Mythic magazine. 

Monday, 29 November 2021

Two Independent Publishers Whose Anthologies I Had Stories In Last Year Fold


It looks as though two of the independent publishers whose anthologies I had stories in last year have folded.

The first is Esskaye Books. Grudge End Cloggers was included in their anthology Scare Me edited by M. Leon Smith. This wasn't a bad book, though the typesetting could have been improved a lot. Double spacing should be reserved for manuscripts, not printed paperbacks. 

The other was Terror Tract, which during its brief lifetime brought out quite a few titles and looked as if it had big ambitions. But for all of that I never even saw when the press folded, though. I had a story reprinted in their "Humorous Horror Anthology" Jester of Hearts. As well as Corpse-Maker (originally published in Dave Sutton's Weird Window fanzine in 1971), this book included Ramsey Campbell's Seeing the World. 

I am always sorry when an independent publisher closes down, especially when it happens as abruptly as it did with these. Both seemed to have had great potential for the future.

Fortunately for me the stories published by them have recently been reprinted by my own Parallel Universe Publications imprint in A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror.  




Friday, 26 November 2021

Gruesome Grotesques #6 is now available

Available now through amazon and elsewhere, Gruesome Grotesques #6 Carnival of Freaks includes some great authors, such as Ramsey Campbell, Adrian Cole, Mike Chinn, Samantha Lee etc. It also includes my own short story Three Eyed Jack which I am pleased to see illustrated by Jim Pitts.

Friday, 19 November 2021

Ghosts of the Chit-Chat - Stories by M. R. James and Others Performed by Robert Lloyd Parry

I was really pleased to receive in the post a DVD of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat performed by the marvellous Robert Lloyd Parry. The James stories are Canon Alberic's Scrapbook and Lost Hearts. The other stories are Basil Netherby by A. C. Benson, The Dean's Story by R. Carr Bosanquet, and Useless Knowledge by M. R. James.

With the DVD came the postcards shown here, together with a folded booklet. 

I'm looking forward to watching this very soon.

RIP Simon Marshall-Jones

I am sorry to hear of the death at only 58 of editor and publisher Simon Marshall-Jones whose Spectral Press published some truly remarkable books. A few years ago I reviewed one of the books he edited and published, which just happens to be, in my opinion, one of the very best Christmas anthologies ever: The 13 Ghosts of Christmas. Below, in a sort of remembrance, is my review of it written in 2013:

 

Over the years Christmas, as well as a time of festive joy, has become synonymous, at least for some of us, with the traditional ghost story. How many of us look back fondly on the BBC's series of Ghost Stories for Christmas, based on M. R. James' classics, starting with The Stalls of Barchester back in the early seventies?

Even for those too young to remember these when they first began it has become something of a tradition. And one in which this collection more than amicably fits. With a suitably macabre cover, the work of Vincent Shaw-Morton, this is a handsome 201 page volume whose look and feel are filled with promise. Thankfully, it is a promise fulfilled by the thirteen stories in it. There are ups and downs, but the ups are always of exceptionally good stories and the downs are never worse than adequate. Beginning with a lively and interesting introduction by horror-enthusiast Johnny Mains, the stories start off with perhaps the best in the volume. An Odd Number at the Table by John Costello is a cracking tale, beautifully well written, with enough twists and turns in its plot to intrigue anyone right up till its chilling climax. This sets a high standard, up to which Jan Edwards' Concerning Events at Leinster Gardens amply lives, wherein the ghosts could be echoes from the past, but echoes that have terrible consequences for those who experience them. I have never been a great fan of William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki stories nor in psychic sleuths in general, but William Meikle, who obviously loves these tales, makes a more than adequate stab at them. And at least in atmosphere sustains the ghostly Yuletide theme of the anthology with a strange story of a possessed ring. Raven Dane's A Taste of Almonds is a densely written atmospheric tale of murder, intrigue and the hallucinogenic properties of absinthe, grotesquely Dickensian in a fascinating way, with some interesting details about poison. The seasonal aspects of the story, though not strictly speaking essential to the tale, do add a nice touch to it. Where the Stones Lie by Richard Farren Barber is set in more modern times, though it concerns a family curse in a country farmhouse in Ireland. Nicholas Martin's story All That Is Living, like William Meikle's Carnacki tale, is about a ring. Unlike the previous story, though, this also includes a demonic snowman, which is far more effective than I would have expected. Snow plays an even more pivotal part in Thana Niveau's And May All Your Christmasses... Evil snow, in fact. And, as we have become accustomed to with her tales, this is a relentlessly bleak, harrowing story, colder even than the season. A strong addition to the middle of the book. This is followed by a shorter story by Martin Roberts. Now and Then is all about guilt, loss and consequences, effectively and eloquently packing a lot into its four pages. I have long loved Paul Finch's stories. And December is no exception, a macabre warning on the paganisation of Christmas, with a final ominous twist. Inspired by Arthur Machen's Ritual, Gary McMahon's Ritualism updates the original to the hopelessness in a bleak modern northern city. Its unsettling depiction of the alienness of children and the potential violence, loneliness and nihilism of urban life is as dark as it gets. Which leads us to the rural violence inherent in an ancient village monument in Neil Williams' We Are a Shadow, whose amateur dramatic society, the Railway Players, are part of a larger pagan survival reminiscent of the Wicker Man. In The Green Clearing by John Forth two families, friends for years, share an annual Christmas holiday in a log cabin miles from anywhere, but as in some of the other stories in this anthology, echoes from the past bring horrors into the present day with horrific results. The final story, Lost Soldiers by Adrian Tchaikovsky ends the book on a strong note in the East Anglian fens where ghosts are resurrected by a band of hapless parapsychologists into finishing off a violent task the fens and death prevented them from carrying out during their lifetimes. Some great details, atmosphere and a truly horrific climax bring this anthology to a satisfying close. Well nearly, because there is a brief extra in the opening pages of Stephen Volk's upcoming novella Whitstable, due from Spectral Press later this year, a fascinating four page snippet whose central character is none other than the late Peter Cushing.

Apart from one story these are all original to this collection, making it an even greater achievement that it lives up to its premise so successfully, showing just what outstanding talent there is these days. It would be nice to think that Spectral Press and Simon Marshall-Jones could repeat this with another volume next Christmas, but they have already set a high benchmark.

Recommended.

Plus the good news for those who missed out on the 100 copy limited edition hardback is that it is being reprinted in paperback. spectralpress.wordpress.com

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Story accepted for Swords and Sorcery Magazine


I just learned today that my story The God in the Keep has been accepted for the next issue of Swords and Sorcery Magazine.

In Depth Review of A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror on the Vault of Evil Website

Kevin Demant has just concluded a story-by-story review of A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror on the Vault of Evil website. Click here to take a look at it. 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 5 November 2021

A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror available now in paperback and kindle

Artwork: Jim Pitts

 

My fifth short story collection A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror is now available in paperback and kindle.

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

The short story collection includes fourteen dark tales of fantasy and horror ranging from 1971 to 2020.

Dead Ronnie and I was first published in Sanitarium issue 44, 2016
Corpse-Maker was first published in Weird Window issue 2, 1971
The Urn was first published in Whispers issue 1, 1972
Gwargens was first published in Beyond issue 3, 1995
Retribution was first published in Peeping Tom issue 3, 1991
The Bequest was first published in Dark Horizons, 2008
They Pissed on My Sofa was first published in Malicious Deviance, 2011
Old Grudge Ender was first published in The Screaming Book of Horror, 2012
A Girl, a Toad and a Cask was first published in The Unspoken, 2013
Scrap was first published in Dark Visions 1, 2013
Lem was first published in The Eleventh Black Book of Horror, 2015
A Grim God’s Revenge was first published in Mythic issue 4, 2017
Grudge End Cloggers was first published in Scare Me, 2020
Hanuman was first published in Phantasmagoria issue 16, 2020

Paperback front, back cover and spine: artwork Jim Pitts

 

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 3 now available as paperback and ebook (kindle)

 


It is with great pleasure that I can announce Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 3 is now available as a paperback and ebook (kindle)

Copies can be ordered from:

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

Contents are:

Sorcerous Vengeance by Lorenzo D. Lopez 
 
Seal Snatchers of Jorsaleem by Tais Teng
 
When the Gods Send You Rats by Chadwick Ginther 
 
Mother's Bones by Carson Ray
 
In the Lair of the Snake-Witch by Darin Hlavaz
 
The Rains of Barofonn by Mike Chinn
 
Wardark by Craig Herbertson
 
The Foliage by Rab Foster 
 
In the Lair of the Moonmen by Jon Hansen 
 
Sailing on the Thieves' Tide by Adrian Cole
 
The covers and interior artwork are again by Jim Pitts.
 
The book is 270 pages and costs £11.99 for the paperback and £2.99 for the kindle.

Monday, 1 November 2021

A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror now available on kindle

Artwork: Jim Pitts  

Ahead of its publication as a paperback, A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy and Horror is available as a kindle ebook (price £2.99 in the UK). The paperback will be out later this week. 

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

The short story collection includes fourteen dark tales of fantasy and horror ranging from 1971 to 2020.

Dead Ronnie and I was first published in Sanitarium issue 44, 2016
Corpse-Maker was first published in Weird Window issue 2, 1971
The Urn was first published in Whispers issue 1, 1972
Gwargens was first published in Beyond issue 3, 1995
Retribution was first published in Peeping Tom issue 3, 1991
The Bequest was first published in Dark Horizons, 2008
They Pissed on My Sofa was first published in Malicious Deviance, 2011
Old Grudge Ender was first published in The Screaming Book of Horror, 2012
A Girl, a Toad and a Cask was first published in The Unspoken, 2013
Scrap was first published in Dark Visions 1, 2013
Lem was first published in The Eleventh Black Book of Horror, 2015
A Grim God’s Revenge was first published in Mythic issue 4, 2017
Grudge End Cloggers was first published in Scare Me, 2020
Hanuman was first published in Phantasmagoria issue 16, 2020



 

Saturday, 23 October 2021

A Grim God's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror

Front & back cover artwork by Jim Pitts

My next collection of stories will be published in November: A Grim Gods's Revenge: Dark Tales of Fantasy & Horror.

This will include fourteen stories in the horror, fantasy and science fiction genres all of which have previously been published from the early 1970s to last year.

Dead Ronnie and I was first published in Sanitarium issue 44, 2016
Corpse-Maker was first published in Weird Window issue 2, 1971
The Urn was first published in Whispers issue 1, 1972
Gwargens was first published in Beyond issue 3, 1995
Retribution was first published in Peeping Tom issue 3, 1991
The Bequest was first published in Dark Horizons, 2008
They Pissed on My Sofa was first published in Malicious Deviance, 2011
Old Grudge Ender was first published in The Screaming Book of Horror, 2012
A Girl, a Toad and a Cask was first published in The Unspoken, 2013
Scrap was first published in Dark Visions 1, 2013
Lem was first published in The Eleventh Black Book of Horror, 2015
A Grim God’s Revenge was first published in Mythic issue 4, 2017
Grudge End Cloggers was first published in Scare Me, 2020
Hanuman was first published in Phantasmagoria issue 16, 2020

 

Artwork by Jim Pitts



Monday, 18 October 2021

Two great deliveries today

Two great deliveries today. A bluray "Legacy Collection" boxset of Dracula, containing Dracula (1931), Dracula's Daughter (1936), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). I won this on ebay with a bid made exactly 5 seconds before the auction ended.

Also arrived today is the latest issue of the science fiction and fantasy magazine Mythic, which contains my story Baal the Necromancer, and a half-page advert for Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy.
 

 

Sunday, 17 October 2021

My latest story: Baal the Necromancer in Mythic magazine

My latest story to be published is Baal the Necromancer in the Summer issue of Mythic. The magazine also includes a half page advert for the Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy series. See below.